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[2010: JAN-FEB] What a Strange, Strange World

Tal Tel-ar

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Looking up, Tal shielded his eye's. The star that shown down onto this world was bright. It appeared to be yellowish, yet it's intense rays were warm against his blue skin. The slight breeze that was ruffling his short white hair was also warm. But what he noticed most was that the star was not as intense as that of Ten-nok VII, but was stronger than that of Andor.

Shaking his head Tal dropped his gaze to the strange world around him. He had never imagined a place like this. So... different. Not only did it look unlike anything he had ever seen before it also smelled different.

And what a smell. His antenna twitched from the strong salty stink. In response Tal walked away from where the pounding waves were crashing onto the pale, granular ground. In many ways it reminded him of home. The vast deserts of Ten-nok VII. Except there the ground was reddish, black. As far as the eye could see with out any waves and very little water.

But not here. Oh no. Here there was so much of it that he could not even see the other side. He had never seen so much water at one time before. Not even when he had been taken from Ten-nok and transported to Andor.

Now true he knew there were large bodies of water on Andor, he just had never seen them. In fact the only memories he had of Andor was of small dark rooms. Individuals who taught him to read and speak Andorian and Federation standard. Of tall majestic cities and the ice cliffs of the south pole.

Now he was here. Banished from Andor. Cast out by his people. Fortunately for him they spoke Federation standard here. Even if he found it hard to understand some of them.

Still it amazed him that they had so much water, water that was so useless. He still remembered taking a drink. The taste had shocked him. He had quickly spit out the little left in his mouth. It had been foul, tasting unlike anything he had every tried.

Tal walked away from the water towards where he could see some people.

They were clustered near some weird looking plants well back from the sand and water. Tall slim brown stalks thrust up into the sky, naked for more than 10 meters and it was only at the very top that some peculiar looking leaves could be found. They were about a meter in length and intense green in color.

They did not seem to be of any use but the people moving around near them were to busy to notice much. Least of all the plants around them.

As he got closer Tal noticed that there appeared to be a number of different species gathered in this location. A large number of them had dark skins of various shades but a few were tan or pale.

They were all dressed fairly similarly, but Tal could not determine what kind of uniform it was. If it was a uniform. Something about it did not quite seem right if they were uniforms.

As he got close they noticed him and suddenly stopped what ever it was they were doing to turn and face him. They also seemed to assume a rather aggresive nature but Tal was not sure. All aliens were a mystery to him.

"Ay. Wat's yo prob!" demanded one of them. He had a hard face and dark eye's. He moved out from the others with a kind of swagger.

"I do not understand your question," Tal replied as he stopped walking. Something was not right. All his senses told him to be on his guard.

"Tupid blu skin. Git ouut ere for I ctt offf yurr preakin dyck," he snarled back as he pulled out a large blade and waved it before him in a menacing manner.

For a moment Tal almost moved forward. The desire to fight warred with his common sense. In the end he backed off. If he was going to live on this world he would need to learn more about it's laws and customs.

He ignored the jeers and yells as they seemed to celebrate his leaveing. Shaking his head Tal was puzzled. It had been obvious to him that the man knew very little about knife fighting yet the others all seemed to consider him a leader.

Once he was back on the pale, tan, granular material the bordered the huge body of foul tasting water he walked back towards the taller buildings.

From the looks of things it would soon be night. He should find his destination now while there were still people around to ask directions from. However if they all spoke Federation standard like those back there he may have more difficulty than he had expected.

In the distance he could see some strange construction high above the water. It stretched from one side of the large bay to the other. Behind it towered the tall, gleaming structures of the main part of this city. These towers were so massive with clean straight lines. Unlike the ones on Andor.

After he had walked for a while he reached the place where he had originally walked down to see the water. It was not very far from the shuttle pad where he had been dropped off early this morning.

Here he turned and walked away from the water. His eyes looking eagerly for some sign, some indication of where he should go next.

Soon he had passed the landing pads, some of them were empty and others held silent shuttles. In no time he had passed by some large buildings to exit onto a large grassy area with trees and numerous walkways made of some pale hard substance.

Here he stopped and looked around. Tal remembered that this morning someone had told him that his destination would be plainly marked but he could not see anything that might be a sign.

"Excuse me. Can I help you?" asked a soft feminine voice.

Tal spun, slightly suprised that he had not noticed anyone approach. What he saw was a tall, slim female with ebony black skin who was almost as tall as he was. She was obviously athletic and had a strong, confidant manner.

"Yes... Could you direct me to the Academy."

"No problem. Just head towards that building over there." she said as she pointed towards a large gleaming structure in the distance. "Thats the main Administration building."

"Thank you," Tal replied as he turned away and walked off with long quick strides.

Such a strange world this planet Earth was. Would even 4 years here make it any less a puzzle?

Edited by Tal Tel-ar
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